I have come to realise that “Fantasy means something much broader and much more immersive than my simple dismissive perceptions. Mr Jones, the author of the titular book here has managed to deftly build an incredibly detailed and intricately crafted “universe” that you will not often find replicated in terms of accomplishment, anywhere. A great cast of characters, atmospheric set pieces and rousing battle scenes like ” ..Her strength returned in a rush and she pursued the Daishen’s ghost implacably, raising her sword in both hands for a whirlwind blow. “I am the Order of One!” she cried, her voice within the helm resonant as a trumpet and smote the the Old Daishen a prodigious blow that cleft the helmet off his armoured shoulders….” Stirring stuff indeed and that in the first chapter. The multiple battles in this trifecta of books are what make it the most readable. You can almost hear the tumult of the swords and the clattering of hooves, smell the spilled blood..Mr Jones also has a deft hand when it comes to scene setting ” The cavern reverberated with the song of the crystal trees and glass flowers. Light emanated from every faceted leaf and twig....” There is also a propulsive quality to the writing that pushes you from chapter to chapter and, perhaps this is just me but during every battle scene, this particular song came to mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGaVUApDVuY. Well, OK it IS just me but in any case there is a cinematic sweep that goes quite well with some raucous music.
The breadth and detail contained here is staggering, considering that Mr Jones is , to the best of my knowledge a young man. It seems more as if a seasoned veteran of the genre may have crafted this world and the story it contains. Terry Pratchett once said that “ Most modern fantasy just rearranges the furniture in Tolkein’s attic”. Mr Jones has set about and largely succeeded in building his own furniture.